Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Spell Challenge - Edgar Allen Poe

October SPELL Challenge - EDGAR ALLAN POE from Crazy Challenge Connections on Goodreads
Timeframe: 10/1/14 to 10/31/14

I chose to spell: The Haunted Palace (HAUNTED )
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper
All Summer Long by Susan Mallery
The Ultimate Millionaire by Susan Mallery
The Next Always by Nora Roberts
Teaching Maya by Tara Crescent
The Executive's Decision by Bernadette Marie
Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber

Below are a list of some of Poe's most popular short stories and poems with the titles listed in full.(In parentheses) are the word choices to spell out this month, although you're welcome to spell the full title if you like!

Annabel Lee (ANNABEL)
For Annie (ANNIE)
The Balloon Hoax (BALLOON)
The Black Cat (BLACK)
The City in the Sea (CITY)
A Descent Into The Maelström (DESCENT OR MAELSTROM)
A Dream Within A Dream (WITHIN OR DREAM) 
Eleonora (ELEONORA)
The Fall of the House of Usher (HOUSE OR USHER)
The Gold Bug (GOLD)
The Haunted Palace (HAUNTED OR PALACE)
The Imp of the Perverse (PERVERSE)
The Masque of the Red Death (MASQUE OR DEATH)
The Murders in the Rue Morgue (MURDERS OR MORGUE)
Never Bet the Devil Your Head (NEVER OR DEVIL)
The Pit and the Pendulum (PENDULUM)
The Premature Burial (PREMATURE OR BURIAL)
The Purloined Letter (PURLOINED OR LETTER)
The Raven (RAVEN)
Some Words With a Mummy (WORDS OR MUMMY)
The Spectacles (SPECTACLES)
Spirits of the Dead (SPIRITS)
Tamerlane (TAMERLANE)
The Tell-Tale Heart (TELL-TALE OR HEART)
William Wilson (WILLIAM OR WILSON)

♦ If you want to participate in a challenge, please sign up by posting at least a partial list of the challenge requirements. This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your books as the challenge progresses. 

♦ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long. Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged :) Re-reads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book and not simply skim through it.

♦ For each book you read, please post a link to the title, and indicate the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, please make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item on the cover, include a link to the book cover. If it’s not obvious from the book title or cover, be sure to explain how your book fits the task. If you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task. 
* If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions here: 
Add a link to the book title, book cover and/or author 

♦ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you’ve read :) If you don’t repost your list, your name will not be added to the list of those who have completed the challenge. 

Favorite Album - The Secret Life of Plants

Favorite Album - The Secret Life of Plants from Wacky Reading Challenges on Goodreads
10/01/14 - 11/30/14


Levels of Participation
Disc One = 1 to 3 Tasks
Disc Two = 4 to 6 Tasks
Disc Three = 7+ Tasks

Choose a level of participation and complete the required number of tasks. Tasks can be mixed. For example, if you choose to do the Disc One Level (1 to 3 tasks), you may choose to complete a task for numbers 1, 2 and 3, OR you may choose to do a task for numbers 2, 5, and 9.

Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, the author's name, and the date you finished reading the book.

This favorite album challenge will focus on The Secret Life of Plants by Stevie Wonder, and was suggested by Book Concierge. Thanks for the suggestion, BC!

1. The Secret Life of Plants: Released in 1979 as the soundtrack for the documentary "The Secret Life of Plants", which was based on the book of the same name written by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.

♬Read a  Series #1. The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

2Billboard Charts: The album reached #4 on the Rock and R&B Billboard charts.

♬Read a Series #2.  Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

3. Send One Your Love: The only single to be released from the also, it also reached #4 on the Billboard charts.

♬Read a book with 'love' in the title Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan

4. Album Cover: The album cover was chosen by Rolling Stone for their list of 100 Album Covers in 1991. 

♬Read a book with a plant on the cover Blue Skies by Robyn Carr

5. Producer: It was produced by Stevie Wonder.

♬Read a book whose title begins with S The Substitute Millionaire by Susan Mallery 

6. Michael Braun: Michael Braun was the film's producer and worked closely with Stevie Wonder in creating the film score.

♬Read a book by an author whose  last initial is M  The Unexpected Millionaire by Susan Mallery

7. Collaborations: Though most of the songs for the album were written by Stevie Wonder, a co0uple of them were collaborations with Syreeta Wright and Michael Sembello.

♬Read a anthology with at least two different authors  On the Edge

8. Reception: While some thought the album was 'nerdy', 'goofy' or 'odd', others found it to be 'beautiful', 'courageous' 'sweet', and 'beautiful'.

♬Read  a book with 'beautiful' in the title Filthy Beautiful Lies by Kendall Ryan

9. Length: The length of the album is 88 minutes, 23 seconds. 

♬Read a book with the number 8, 2, or 3 in its total number of pages. 305 pages A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster

10. Stevie Wonder: Stevie Wonder is a child prodigy who has become one of the most creative and loved musicians of the late 20the century. He has been blind since shortly after birth.

♬Read a book in which the first letter of every word in the title can be found in STEVIEWONDER. 
The Executive's Decision by Bernadette Marie

American Civil War Spell Challenge

American Civil War Spell Challenge on Wacky Reading Challenge on Goodreads
Date: 10/01/14 - 12/31/14

This is a spell challenge to go along with our 4th quarter task challenge - Hauntings of the American Civil War.

Using the first letter of a book title or the first letter of the author's first or last name, spell out the word(s) of your choice.

I've listed a few words below, however you are not limited to these options, and are welcome to use any word or phrase you associate with the American Civil War.

Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, the author's name, and the date you finished reading the book

Some Options
1. American Civil War
2. Gettysburg
3. Soldier's Orphanage
4. Herr Tavern
5. Battle of Antietam
6. Battle of Chickamauga
7. Harper's Ferry
8. Fort Jackson
9. Kolb's Creek Farm
10. Lincoln's Ghost
11. White House 

I am going with Gettysburg:

Ghost Walk by Heather Graham
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Three Little Words by Susan Mallery
Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery
Young Love Lost by Doug Burris
The Substitute Millionaire by Susan Mallery
 Blue Skies by Robyn Carr
The Unexpected Millionaire by Susan Mallery
Rapture In Death by JD Robb
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Hauntings of the American Civil War, 4th Qtr.

Hauntings of the American Civil War, 4th Qtr. from Wacky Reading Challenges from Goodreads
Date: 10/01/14 - 12/31/14


1. American Civil War: The American Civil War took place from April 1861 to May 1865, and was fought all across the US. Many say some of those areas are still haunted today. 
►Read  a Series #1. Filthy Beautiful Lies by Kendall Ryan

2. Gettysburg Hautings: Said to be the largest and bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, it took place over a three day period. Many have reported seeing spectral armies (some marching in step, others still fighting on the battle field), ghostly wails of orphans, ghostly sentinels and horsemen, etc.
►Read  a Series #2. Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan

3. The Soldiers Orphanage: Opened by the widow of a soldier in the Union Army in Gettysburg, it is said to make even psychics too afraid to enter the cellar.
►Read  a Series/TBR #4. A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster

4. Herr Tavern: Another haunted location in Gettysburg, it was used as a Confederate Hospital. Four of the guest rooms are said to be haunted, and rooms are numbered so that there is no room #13.
►Read  a Series #3 . The Ultimate Millionaire by Susan Mallery

5. Battle of Antietam: Another one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War, it is home to a sunken road known as Bloody Lane - one of the most eerie places on the battlefield. Many believe the events of the past are still being re-played out there today.
►Read a book with the word 'Blood' or 'Bloody' in the title Blood Lust by Zoe Winters

6. Battle of Chickamauga Haunting: The "White Lady of Chickamauga" is said to be seen wandering the battlefield looking for her lost beau. The head of "Ol Green Eyes" reportedly drifts around the battle field looking for the rest of his body.
►Read a book with a woman on the cover Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

7. Harper's Ferry Haunting: Harper's Ferry is said to be one of the most haunted places in America. John Brown's ghost, as well as the ghosts of others is said to haunt the Kennedy Farmhouse. John Brown is said to be heard pacing back and forth on the top two floors. Others have said the footsteps of a crowd of people can be heard going up the stairs. 
Read  a book by an author with  last name of  Brown Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown

8. Fort Jackson Buras, Louisiana: This fort is reported haunted by the ghosts of civil war soldiers who died there.
►Read a book which has a soldier in the story Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery

9. Battle of Kolb's Creek Farm: A skirmish near Kennesaw Mountain, where an estimated 1,350 soldiers died. Residents there have reported seeing Civil War soldiers walking through their homes.
►Read  a book with the number 3 or 5 in the total number of pages 375 pages Blue Skies by Robyn Carr

10. Lincoln's Ghost: It has long been reported that Abraham Lincoln haunts the White House.
►Read  a Series #10. Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery

October 2014 Word Search

October 2014 Word Search from Wacky Reading Challenges on Goodreads
Date: 10/01/14 - 10/9/14

Below is a list of words to find. They can only be found in the book - no covers, titles or authors, please. For each work you find, provide the book title, page or location, and the sentence containing the word. 

You can use one book to find all the words, or as many as you like.

***If you don't find all the words this month, you are welcome to carry them over to next month's word search challenge.***

Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, include the author's name, and the date you finished reading the book

To add a book title link: Clik the "add book/author" link located above the message box. Type in the name of your book, click 'search', then click 'add' next to the title you would like to add.

List of Words
1. Pumpkin The Next Always by Nora Roberts p. 262 Great, you can carve the pumpkin.

2. Trick  On the Edge p. 13 It was strange how the mind plays tricks.

3. Treat One in a Million by Susan Mallery p. 216 She and the kids would be moved in by Halloween, trick-or-treating in their new neighborhood.

4. Candy Filthy Beautiful Lies by Kendall Ryan loc 2300 Operation mancandy is going into effect starting tonight-

5. Costume The Next Always by Nora Roberts p. 291 ...every minute isn't on costumes and candy.

6. Halloween  On the Edge p. 13 Shades of "Halloween II".

7. Ghost Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews p. 110 Like it was made of ghosts.

8. Spell Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews p. 1 ...the silver in the alloy interacted with the ward spell.

9. Spider Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery p. 9 Technically, spiders didn't have ears.

10. October Blue Skies by Robyn Carr p. 253 Sitting outside by the pool in the comfortable October evening...

11. Scary A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster p. 253 She now had hope and wow, hope was a scary thing.

12. Fun Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan loc 59 We're going to have fun.

13. Makeup A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster p. 253 In the bathroom, she splashed her face, straightened her ponytail, put a little more makeup over the bruise on her jaw.

14. Witch  Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews p. 31 She is a witch.

15. Skeleton Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews p. 33 For one, the skeleton had too many ribs, but only five pairs attached to the sternum.

October 2014 Mini Challenge

October 2014 Mini Challenge from Wacky Reading Challenges on Goodreads
Date: 10/01/14 - 10/31/14


October is almost here, and it's time for another mini challenge.

For this challenge, you make complete the task option or the spell out option, or a combination of both.

1. October: - October is the 10th month of the year. Read  Series #1. Filthy Beautiful Lies by Kendall Ryan

2. Fall/Autumn: October is associated with Fall (or Autumn). Read a Series #2. Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan

3. United Nations Day: United Nations Day is October 24th. Read a book set in a country other than where you live Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks

4. Halloween: Halloween is celebrated October 31, and you are likely to see little trick or treaters everywhere. Read  a Series#3. The Ultimate Millionaire by Susan Mallery

On the Edge
Chick With A Charm by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Taking It All by Maya Banks
One in a Million by Susan Mallery
Blue Skies by Robyn Carr
The Executive's Decision by Bernadette Marie
Rapture In Death by JD Robb

Spell Out Words: 
Below are some word choices for the spell out option. You are welcome to choose a different word to spell out. Anything that you associate with the month of October will work.

1. October
2. Fall/Autumn
3. Halloween
4. United Nations Day
5. Scary
7. Trick or Treat
8. Candy Corn

Challenge Rules:
Books should be at least 125 pages. All formats are acceptable. Re-reads are fine--just be sure to re-read the entire book. When updating your challenge with books you've read, please include a link to the book title, the author's name, and the date you finished reading the book

The Long Road Home by Mary Alice Monroe

This story begins with Mike MacKenzie's suicide in Charles Blair's office. Mike thinks that Charles ruined him financially. It freaks Charles out.  Nora, Mike's wife, finds out that there is no money. She has millions to pay back, even though she was not involved in the business. Mike and Nora were separated for a long time. He did not want her anymore. Nora asks the lawyers if she can have the property in Vermont that she bought with an inheritance from her grandmother. She goes to the sheep farm. She loves it there. There is a man working for her named C. W. He helps her and takes the time to teach her how to work the farm.  They start to have feelings for one another but a secret may keep them apart.

 I liked this story. I felt for Nora when everyone assumed she was a fake and had tons of money.

From harlequin:
Her husband's suicide left Nora MacKenzie alone, and his shady Wall Street dealings left the Manhattan socialite penniless. By a miracle she's held on to their mountainside farm—and she'll keep holding on, no matter what. The property is Nora's one chance to wring some dignity out of the sham she's been living.

The Vermont locals think she's a city girl on a nature kick, but she's not afraid to get her hands dirty. Nora's serious about learning the farming business…if she can figure out where to begin. Against the locals' skepticism, she has only one ally: Charles "C.W." Walker.

C.W. is hardworking, gentle with the animals and a patient teacher of the hundreds of chores Nora needs to learn. Slowly she starts to believe she'll survive in her new life, even flourish. She might even be willing to open her heart again. But she won't return to a life of lies…and the truth about C.W. may be more than Nora's fragile heart can bear.

Nora MacKenzie slipped a complacent smile on her face. It was a look that she had mastered over the past year. A mask she donned to protect herself from the horde of lawyers, accountants, and other corporate hit men who had invaded her life since Mike's death. Most of them were here now, assembled around the massive oak conference table in Mike's office, shuffling papers, murmuring, jotting notes. Their work was done. Like jurors, they were poised to deliver a verdict.

She sat alone at the far end of the table, one against so many. Nora felt the bulk of her dark wool suit, the high blouse collar like a cinch around her neck. She had chosen the respectable outfit deliberately. Despite the gossip, she would show them that Michael MacKenzie's widow was a lady.

There was a chill in the morning air. No one had offered her coffee. Clasping her hands tight in her lap, Nora peered from behind her mask to study the men and women who would decide her fate. A few had the air of pompous boredom that she long ago discovered hid incompetence. She recognized those that had played the role of her supporter and those that had taken the attack. There were more of them. A few she had talked to daily for almost a year. Today, however, she was universally ignored. Dismissal was clear in their eyes.

Ralph Bellows sat across the length of polished wood, his gray hair flowing from his broad forehead like a periwig. Nora knew he would act as judge. Bellows relished the role. A clearing of his throat served as a gavel, and he called his court to order with a firm "Shall we begin?"

Nora's shoulders tensed. She had no doubt Mike would be found guilty in the eyes of his peers. He had committed the worst of crimes: bungled his finances, destroyed his businesses, and left them without a profit. Yet the one to serve the sentence would be her.

Straightening in the stiff leather chair, Nora appeared calm and dignified. She offered Bellows a gracious nod.

"Mrs. MacKenzie…well, we are not strangers in this room. We have endured together a long, arduous year. May I address you as Nora?"

His smile revealed teeth the color of ripe bananas. Nora nodded again. They'd endured? Nora clenched her hands in bitterness. She had endured. They'd conducted business as usual. No matter how disastrous her estate, they would be assured their pay before creditors got a dime.

"The untangling of Mike's business dealings has been more complicated than we originally envisioned," Bellows began gravely. "Our work is not yet completed."

A short gasp escaped from Nora's lips. It had been a year since Mike's suicide. What more could they need to accomplish before settling the estate?

Reading her frustration, Bellows continued in a conciliatory tone. "No one realizes the futility of further delays more than I. However, to put it bluntly, Michael MacKenzie left behind a mess. No one, least of all family, understood the extent of his holdings. We are doing our best to put together the pieces of his myriad dealings, but some critical bits of information are still missing."

To read more, click here.

Pages: 441
Published: 1995

Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks

This is the second in the McCabe Trilogy. Alaric has agreed to marry Rionna McDonald to unite the McCabe and McDonald clans. On his way to visit her, his group was attacked. Somehow he managed to escape. He rode until he fell, fortunately it was at the house of a healer, Keeley. She was banished by the McDonald clan but managed to make enough to live on by healing people. She takes care of him. He gets attached to her during his fever from his wounds. His horse goes home to the McCabe keep. His brothers come for him and Ewan, the McCabe Laird, has decided Keeley is coming with them.
Keeley cares for Alaric after the return to his home. They are in love but fight their feelings since he is promised to her cousin, Rionna. It was Rionna's father who banished her. But Alaric and Keeley can not continue to fight their feelings. But something happens right before the wedding to change things.

I liked this one a lot. Keeley is a sweet person who went through a bad time.

From the author:
Fiercely loyal to his elder brother, Alaric McCabe leads his clan in the fight for their birthright. Now, he is prepared to wed for duty, as well. But on his way to claim the hand of Rionna McDonald, daughter of a neighboring chieftain, he is ambushed and left for dead. Miraculously, his life is saved bythe soft touch of a Highland angel, a courageous beauty who will put his fealty to his clan, his honor, and his deepest desires, to the test.
An outcast from her own clan, Keeley McDonald was betrayed by those she loved and trusted. When the wounded warrior falls from his horse, she is drawn to his strong, lean body. The wicked glint in his green eyes ignites a passion that will follow them back to Alaric’s keep, where their forbidden love draws them deeper into the pleasures of the flesh. But as conspiracy and danger circle closer, Alaric must make an impossible choice. 
Will he betray his blood ties for the woman he loves?

Alaric became aware of burning pain in his side that grew stronger with each second he was conscious. It became so much that he stirred and shifted in an attempt to alleviate the unbearable tension.
“Be still, warrior, lest you rip your stitches.”
The honeyed voice was accompanied by gentle hands that scalded his already overwarm skin. The heat was nigh unbearable and yet he stilled, not wanting his angel to stop touching him. ’Twas the only semblance of pleasure he had.
How he could straddle the fires of hell and the pleasures of the sweetest angel he didn’t know. Perhaps he was betwixt the two worlds and it was as of yet undecided which direction he would venture.
“Thirsty,” he said hoarsely. He slid his tongue over dry, cracked lips that craved the soothing balm of water.
“Aye, but just a bit. I’ll not have you retching all over my floor,” the angel said.
She tucked her arm underneath his neck and lifted his head. It shamed him that he was as weak as a newborn kitten. He’d have never been able to hold himself up if it weren’t for her firm grip.
The rim of a goblet pressed to his lips, and he drank greedily, nearly inhaling the cool water. It was a shock to his system, so cold and refreshing, that a shiver stole over his body. The contrast was nearly painful. Ice to the fires that burned over his flesh.
To read more, click here.

Pages: 323
Published: 2011

Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks

This is the third book in the McCabe Trilogy. It starts right after the second book ends, Seduction of a Highland Lass. Caelen has married Rionna McDonald. He needs to whip her clan into shape. Her father was a lousy laird. He did not take care of his people. The men need to train because they will help King David fight to keep his job. Caelen wants Rionna to change. She is the best warrior her clan has. Because of this she is attacked by the Camerons.  Caelen is fighting his feelings for her.  He was betrayed by the last woman he loved.  The Camerons attack again and Caelen is taken. Rionna vows to get him back any way she can.

This was a nice final book. The third McCabe finds love, but will he keep her?

From the author:
Caelen McCabe’s young, reckless heart nearly destroyed his clan. Now putting family loyalty above all else, he steps up to marry his older brother’s jilted bride and salvage the uneasy alliance between two clans. While beautiful Rionna McDonald is a fit wife for any man, Caelen trusts no woman, especially not this sweet temptress who torments him with white hot longing.
As the sacrificial lamb in her father’s power game, Rionna will do her duty but protect her heart and her pride from another man’s humiliation. Despite everything, the heat in Caelen’s touch melts her defenses and she craves the sensual delights of a husband who guards his emotions as fiercely as his clan. But when the ultimate battle for the McCabe legacy is upon them, Rionna’s true warrior spirit emerges. She will risk the wrath of her father, the fury of her enemies, and her life to prove to Caelen that his wife’s love is too precious to lose.
Caelen looked toward the stairs for what seemed like the hundredth time, and Ewan looked impatient as well. Rionna and Mairin had been gone for some time. It was late into the night and Caelen was ready to have done with the entire wedding celebration.
Some celebration. His bride had been stiff and distant throughout the entire ceremony, and afterward she'd sat silent while the room celebrated around her.
If her demeanor was anything to go by, she was even less thrilled than he with the match. It mattered naught. They were both bound by duty. And right now his duty was to consummate his marriage.
His loins tightened, and the surge of lust took him by surprise. It had been a long while since he'd had such a strong reaction to a woman. But it had been thus since the day he'd laid eyes on Rionna.
He'd been shamed by his reaction to his brother's betrothed. It was disloyal and disrespectful to feel such a keen burning in his gut.
But no matter that he damned himself, it didn't change the fact that she had only to walk in the room and his body leapt to life.
And now she was his.
He searched the entrance to the stairs one more time and then sent a pointed stare toward Ewan. It was time to collect his wife and take her to bed.
Ewan nodded then stood. It didn't seem to matter that the king was still heartily enjoying himself. Ewan merely announced that the festivities were at their end and that everyone should seek their beds.
To read more, click here.

Pages: 305
Published: 2011